Muscat: OQ, a global integrated energy group, has completed the basic construction works of the Ras Markaz crude oil storage terminal whose storage capacity is about 26.7 million barrels.
This oil storage and export project, carried out by Oman Tank Terminal Company (OTTCO), which is part of the global integrated energy group OQ, is the biggest of its kind in the region. The project was built according to international standards and 100% nationally financed.
Ras Markaz crude oil storage terminal, which is located in the Governorate of Al Wusta, is one of the strategic projects in Oman, thanks to its location that mediates the Asian and African markets. It is scheduled to receive the first shipment of crude oil in the first quarter of 2023 to secure the needs of the Duqm refinery after the refinery was connected with Ras Markaz through a pipeline that extends for 80 kilometres. Eight huge reservoirs were constructed at Ras Markaz for storing the refinery’s oil.
Eng. Salem Marhoon Al Hashemi, General Manager of the project, said: “Ras Markaz crude oil storage terminal aims to store and mix all kinds of crude oil in large quantities. The project has very advanced infrastructure that is capable to meet the needs of local and international markets.”
He added, “We aspire to turn this terminal into the biggest project for storing crude oil in the Middle East to become an important international hub for trading crude oil thanks to its strategic location overlooking the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. This project will cement the position of Oman as the main hub for storing oil in the region.”
Al Hashemi explained: “Oman relies currently on Mina Al Fahl in exporting crude oil. Therefore, the addition of Ras Markaz boosts the strategic importance of securing the export of crude oil abroad due to its distinguished location. The terminal is located outside the Strait of Hormuz. This encourages many investors to perform the business of importing, storing, exporting and mixing crude oil. Additionally, it will provide an added value for mixing different kinds of oil with Omani crude oil.”
He pointed out that the area of the current completed first phase of the project is 10 square kilometres approximately with a capacity of about 26.7 million barrels. Al Hashemi also explained that the total area allocated for the project is 40 square kilometres, which is customised to store up to about 200 million barrels of oil. The company will increase its capacity according to the growing demand from investors.
The general manager of the project added that the project consists of two parts, the first of which includes marine works and has been completely executed. This part comprises the floating import and export terminal, which is about 7km offshore, along with two pipelines with a diameter of 42 inches, in addition to the systems associated with it. The second part of the project includes constructing the oil pumping systems, water treatment systems, the construction of reservoirs, power stations network and other associated systems.
Al Hashemi further said that the floating import and export terminal was built to receive the biggest oil tankers in the world. He explained that the terminal was connected with four main pumps to push crude oil to the storage area, which is located at an altitude of more than 100 meters from sea level. The site is ready to add additional pumps to keep pace with the demand for oil storage at the station whenever a need for expansion arises.
He concluded that the storage period and selection of services are subject to technical considerations and the preferences of investors as well as oil trading and marketing companies. He stressed that the storage of crude oil primarily follows the standards set locally and globally.